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OU on the BBC: The Great British Year - ARCHIVE

Updated Tuesday, 24th September 2013

The definitive portrait of the spectacular nature of the country over the course of one year.

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About the series

Cape Cornwall Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC (Photographer: Tom Walker) Cape Cornwall The Great British Year is the definitive portrait of the spectacular and dynamic nature of our country over the course of one year.

As a nation we hold a deep affection for our seasons - they're so woven into our national character that we can almost feel their changing. But then, the range of seasons we have is as extraordinary as our climate is unique. The splendour of the autumn colour change is as magnificent as anywhere on earth. The coming of spring brings spectacles of migration and breeding that are of planet-wide importance.

Time-lapse photography will set the scene for a landscape that is constantly changing, minute by minute, day and by day, month by month; from a waterfall freezing solid to a entire hillside of heather bursting with colour. These techniques will also show a new and intriguing visual perspective on how the people of Britain are entwined with the natural fabric of the country and its seasonal rhythms; from rows of pumpkins growing for Halloween, to the religious mowing of twenty million garden lawns. Throughout the series, iconic landmarks and locations will be used to symbolise different parts of the country; churches, cricket pitches, bridges and follies will also act as enduring connection between mankind and our ever-changing country.

Throughout the series new approaches will be used to visualise seasonal change in ways that haven't been seen before: animated 'chlorophyll maps' will show how seasonal change sweeps across the country, enabling us to pin-point the exact place where the first green shoots start to grow in spring and where the last leaf falls in autumn.

The seasons will reveal why Britain's climate is unique on our planet and just why our relationship with its wildlife is so enduring and so special.

  • To learn more about ecosystems, why not sign up for The Open University's 'Introduction to ecosystems' course? You can study it for free on FutureLearn from 18th November 2013.




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